Archive for August, 2007

Well, the time is drawing near when “The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Roadwill be on display at The International Book Fair in Beijing. The book is scheduled to be shown by the Jenkins Book Group to various book retailers that are looking for books to stock on their shelves.

I can tell you that from the looks of things, the novel has been practically flying off the virtual shelves at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com!

If you’re in the area on Aug 30, 2007 – Sep 3, 2007, please feel free to meet Alan Solomon at this book fair.

Taryn Simpson is a professional ghostwriter specializing in novels. To read more about Taryn’s work, read the latest article from The Tennessean: Ghostwriter Connects across Continents

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Political campaigns are in full swing, and these are just some of the thoughts I’ve been having as the time to vote gets closer. I’m sure there is much more to go into–and these thoughts aren’t likely to be anything “new”–but in the interest of time, I’m only going to highlight a few of the points.

Like anybody else, I have my concerns about the future of America. Some statistics (which are usually about as trustworthy as your average politician) say that Americans are falling behind in just about every major area–education, productivity, etc.,. Education is a big concern here in Baltimore. However, violence is one area in which America seems to be leading, and again, Baltimore is at the forefront. A truly “charming” city full of promise, one that rivals any other major city, it’s also plagued by one of the worst crime rates in America. Supposedly worse than New York, if you can imagine that.

Every year politicians claim they’re going to lower the crime rate, improve education, improve the relationship between the police and the people, improve housing and the job market, and every year–with few exceptions–it’s the same old same old. Where are the politicians that care beyond election day? When Shelia Dixon (Baltimore’s interim Mayor) addresses the issues, it’s usually a typical loop over and over again. She’s not responsible for this or that, she’s “working on” this or that. The outlines seem to be there, and yet crime in the city has gone up since she took over. The educational system is still in bad shape. Granted, she hasn’t had much time to prove herself as Mayor, but she exhibited the same reluctance to take responsibility before she took the office. I’d like to believe in her, but in such a situation, belief does not proceed results.

Back to the concern about America as a whole; one thing that worries me is the constant talk about the “fact” that America is not ready for a woman President (Hillary Clinton) or a black President (Obama Barack). Regardless of who I may vote for, I wonder if we as a country are so far behind that a person’s gender or ethnicity really still weighs so heavily as a factor when it comes to the well-being of the nation. After everything that this country has been through in the past few years, one would think that voting for the best person for the job would be at the forefront, not voting for the person that “makes [me] feel comfortable” or whom “[I’d] like to have a beer with”. Of course there are factions in this country that have their own ulterior agendas, but what about the majority?

True, human nature doesn’t change over night and politicians don’t work alone. The political campaigns are still popularity contests where charisma, looks, and money matter as much as (if not more than) ideas, strategy, and ideals. There are few politicians that can balance the two sides effectively. Usually, if a candidate is charismatic, he or she lacks substance; if they are strong on ideas and ideals, they lack social skills. Occasionally someone comes along that can wow the crowds and actually has a solid plan for improving the country for everyone, but they seem to be few and far between.

While I’m far from the gloom and doom type, I do think that as things move at a faster pace globally, Americans on the whole have to elect politicians that can help us make real progress at home and on the global stage, not make us stagnant–or even worse–throw us back into the dark ages. It may still be a field where one has to select the lesser of the evils, but voting (if our votes still truly matter) based on irrelevant issues has to be a thing of the past if America is going to remain relevant on the world’s stage.
Nancy O. Greene

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I wanted to share one thing from the SCBWI conference in Los Angeles I attended earlier this month. Walter Dean Myers was the keynote speaker the first day. His voice is like James Earl Jones’s and he has a marvelous, easy, natural delivery, and spoke about what distinguishes good writing from the other kind. He read a sentence from a novel he’d once critiqued: “I stormed into the bedroom, paced the hardwood floor and then collapsed on the bed.” As he said, this sentence gives the reader some information but it’s not good enough.

He said a writer should always be looking for “the detail that explodes the moment.”

This exploded my mind. I’ve been thinking of it ever since. Just yesterday I was thinking of details that could have exploded the sentence above. Did the door crack when she slammed it, did it bounce open again, did the door handle fall off? Did she kick a stuffed animal across the hardwood floor? Were the sheets on the bed rumpled and dirty? Or was the bed covered with a white duvet and 600-thread-count sheets? Did someone’s voice roar up from downstairs after her? Or is she a he? Is there a Ruger under the bed? A computer on the desk clicking through possible passwords to hack the bank downtown?

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Coming Together For the Cure — something easy to do to help.

Author Alison Kent, is running a comment “contest” on her blog. Go Comment Now!

For every ten comments she gets she will buy a copy of Coming Together for the Cure and then give them away as prizes. So go and comment. It’s an easy way to help

The book spans the gamut of erotica – Gay, Lesbian, Bi, Het. BDSM, Kink, Vanilla.

At some point, virtually everyone’s life is touched in some way by breast cancer. Whether it’s a friend or family member, or even yourself, the journey is one of courage and compassion. Phaze continues its tradition of fundraising for this cause with Coming Together: For the Cure, an anthology of erotic romance edited by Alessia Brio. Royalties from the sale of this edition of Coming Together will be donated to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation

Coming Together has never felt this good!

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Ready? Welcome to the August 22, 2007 edition of writers from across the blogosphere!

Hungry Writer presents R-E-S-P-E-C-T posted at Writing For Food.

‘Colorado’ Gumi presents Chap. 1 – ‘Proto-Gin’ posted at The History of Gin, saying, “This Blogger, who ‘claims’ not to be a famous writer, says it’s a biography of a young woman in an existential
world. . .but aren’t ALL Blogs about that???”


Ashok presents Rethink.: Some Personal Notes re: Shakespeare, Sonnet 18 posted at Rethink., saying, “Why write? Shakespeare gives an ambiguous answer about whether writing enshrines a memory forever in “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day,” I think.”


Ashok presents Rethink.: What Constitutes Plagiarism Exactly? posted at Rethink., saying, “How should we judge what is plagiarism and what isn’t, and what should guide our sentiments on the matter?”

Elvis D presents Generations posted at 365fiction.

Elvis D presents Forum posted at 365fiction.

book reviews

GrrlScientist presents Why Don’t Woodpeckers Get Headaches? posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Mike O’Connor, this delightful little book answers a whole flock of offbeat questions posed by people who love birds.”

GrrlScientist presents Peterson Reference Guides: Gulls of the Americas posted at Living the Scientific Life, saying, “by Steve N. G. Howell and Jon Dunn, this is the definitive reference work that teaches the art and skill of identifying gull species that occur throughout the Americas.”


Dawn Xiana Moon presents Kid-Friendly Food posted at Dawn Xiana Moon: Randomness.

Cheryl Snyder Taragin presents Goatse is a Hoax and Other Internet Disinformation posted at The Spewker, saying, “I find the whole concept of Internet Disinformation amusing. So easy to check facts, and yet, people don’t. Bloggers should have a moral code of ethics.”

politics/current events

Sheppard Salter presents Does T.V. Make You ?Soft In The Head?? posted at salterblog.com.


Madeleine Begun Kane presents Fantasy Dear Editor Letter posted at Mad Kane’s Humor Blog.


Elvis D presents Interview posted at 365fiction.

Elvis D presents Uprising posted at 365fiction.

Charlotte Rains Dixon presents LA: It’s a Different Writing World posted at Word Strumpet, saying, “Visit my blog for all kinds of information and commentary on writing fiction, articles, SEO copy, novels, creativity and journaling, plus books and authors.”

Terry Dean presents 25 Ways to Increase Conversion posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

Terry Dean presents 20 Ways to Add Value to Your Products and Services posted at Integrity Business Blog by Terry Dean.

Rhonda Leigh Jones presents Writing Foreplay Relieves Writer’s Block posted at Rhonda Leigh Jones.

Elvis D presents Paparazzi Fodder posted at 365fiction.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
writers from across the blogosphere
using our
carnival submission form.
Past posts and future hosts can be found on our

blog carnival index page

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What a fascinating time I had with Taryn. Originally we were going to have her co-author join us from China yet, unfortunately he was on call on his regular job yet Taryn has a wealth of knowledge about whether to self-publish or not, what a ghost writer is, collaborating by email ~ which she and Alan did; not yet having EVER spoken with each other ~ and then, the story of their book ~ The Mango Tree Cafe; Loi Kroh Road.

What a fascinating story I had the pleasure of reading. Taking place in Thailand the story weaves around the main character Larry and how he went from living on a farm to being gently urged by his father to do more with his life. With that, the tale begins and centers around the characters on Loi Kroh Road; his love for Heather and Noo, having the “sight” and what he learned in that time. This is a definite “must read”. Please enjoy our interview.



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The debate still rages on the viability of self-publishing through POD (print-on-demand) outfits.  Some say authors who use these avenues instead of traditional publishing as a “stepping-stone” are in a state of denial.  Others feel it is a perfectly legitimate option for those wanting more personal control over what happens to their book, and a certain level of success is possible with self-publishing.

I recently weighed in on the topic. 

See Below:


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Not only is the book reading like a Who’s Who, read below for the HUGE NEWS!

“The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road” is….

* Being shown at the Beijing, China International Book Fair at the end of this month

* Competing for Best Fiction Novel according to USABookNews.com

* Accumulating Interview Requests from

– Linda Della Donna (http://www.griefcase.blogspot.com/)
– Revvell (http://www.revvellations.com/)
– Virtual Book Review (http://www.virtualbookreview.com/)

* Selected as Book of the Month to read by an Australian book club

* Advertised heavily in “Ideas, Goals and Dreams” Magazine to premier in Sept 2007

* Scheduled to be translated into Chinese and Mandarin languages


“The Mango Tree Cafe, Loi Kroh Road” will compete for

Best Fiction Novel for the Pulitzer Prize!!!!


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Summer is a great time for catching up on reading.  This summer has seemed endless to me, as have some of the novels I’ve devoured during these lazy, hazy days.

Check out what I’ve been reading:


…and feel free to share what you’ve read this summer–other than Harry Potter!

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My daily struggle as a writer is to find enough inspiration to write the next story. It takes a lot of time and imagination to create something that would move me, I need to keep in mind that the story will only flow if I have it inside of me. It must be so powerful that will burst out from inside onto the paper.

Many factors affect the amount and quality of my writing; daily life, circumstances, emotions, health, peace of mind and feelings. Taking the good with the bad I push myself to write something every day. Anything and everything could spark and idea for a writing; the news, a movie, an article, a painting, music, a picture. Staying close with like minded people also estimulates ideas that could become a whole story on its own.

I was checking my email this morning and the announcement of the movie Becoming Jane got my attention. I watched the movie trailer and was taken right away by the theme. I have to see this movie! I enjoy watching movies of writers and this one I’m sure will spark many ideas.

For those of you who write, I would like to know what helps you get new and fresh ideas? How much time do you dedicate to writing?

Clary Lopez
Author of Simplicity – Richness of Life
Clary’s Blog

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